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After reading last week's edition I felt it important to share my thoughts on what I think the role of a local newspaper like the Islander News should be and some observations as a new resident. The Islander should be a venue where residents can gain relevant information rooted in fact concerning both positive and negative events happening in our community. It should not be a venue where residents needlessly criticize and disparage one another and spread pointless rumor and gossip.

There was no need to criticize Chief Press, someone who spent almost 20 years of his life making Key Biscayne one of the safest places to live in the entire state of Florida. People who work in public roles such as a police chief and members of the Village Council should be willing to face respectful criticism based on their performance, policy positions, and the votes they take, not personal attacks.

We as a village are celebrating 30 years of incorporation. I hope the courageous men and women who took a stand all those years ago to create an independent city that could chart its own destiny would not be disappointed in how divisive some members of this community can really be, including during election cycles as we saw not too long ago.

As was stated last week by another resident, the Bear Cut bridge needs to be replaced and if this is going to happen along with major changes to Rickenbacker Causeway then we as a community must come together to make sure that any changes will not negatively affect the over 12,000 residents who call this island paradise their home.

I hope everyone who calls KB home can agree that we need to make sure the infrastructure that we depend on every single day is exactly that, dependable, and that bicyclists should be able to get to their destination without fearing for their lives and people who drive cars don't have to worry about a possible tragedy every day they leave and come home.

Instead of criticizing one another we should be focusing our attention on more pressing issues such as replacing Bear Cut bridge, a new county library, the upcoming budget process being led by a new village manager, talk at Miami City Hall regarding Marine Stadium and the Virginia Key basin, the selection of a new police chief, and the safety of condo residents after the tragedy in Surfside.

Let's work together to create a better future for our “Island Paradise.” If we won't, who will?

Alexander Santana

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